NiSource Inc. is
reporting a net income of $23.2 million or 7 cents basic earnings per share
in the second quarter of 2018, compared to a net loss of $44.4 million or 14
cents in the year-ago period.
During the second
quarter, NiSource took steps to address cash and credit matters related to
federal tax reform, including a common equity block offering of
approximately $600 million in May; and long-term debt refinancing completed
in July, which included the issuance of $400 million in preferred stock and
$350 million in five-year notes, the proceeds of which were used to acquire
certain outstanding notes totaling $760 million through tender offers and
“The actions we
have taken through the first half of 2018 enhance the sustainability of our
long-term infrastructure investment strategy, which is driving value for
customers, communities, and investors,” NiSource President and CEO Joe
Hamrock said in statement released today. “Our financing activities helped
mitigate the cash flow and credit impacts arising from federal tax reform,
while strengthening our credit metrics and balance sheet.”
subsidiary NIPSCO is currently awaiting an order from the Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission (IURC) on the settlement of its natural-gas base rate
case, the first filed by the company in more than 25 years. Under the terms
of that settlement, an average residential customer would see an overall
increase of approximately $8 per month, instead of $10 as originally
proposed. Included within the overall bill change would be an increase in
the fixed monthly customer charge from $11 to $14, which is also lower than
proposed. The expected annual increased revenues of $107.3 million would be
used to invest in system upgrades, technology improvements, and other
measures to increase pipeline safety and system reliability.
* NIPSCO is also
waiting for the IURC to approve a new seven-year gas modernization program
which would pursue approximately $1.25 billion in infrastructure
improvements through 2025. NIPSCO has invested more than $400 million in the
previously approved program since 2014. The new program, like the old, is
funded through a tracker known as a Transmission, Distribution, and Storage
System Charge. The IURC has yet to approve NIPSCO’s pending tracker request
of $54 million covering investments made in the second half of 2017 under
the current modernization program.
* NIPSCO continues
to discuss its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan with stakeholders in order to
meet customers’ long-term electric energy needs. In November 2016, the
company announced a plan to retire 50 percent of its coal-fired operations
by 2023, and under that plan Bailly Generating Station Units 7 and 8 were
duly retired as scheduled in May.
* NIPSCO continues
to execute its seven-year electric infrastructure modernization program,
representing approximately $1.25 billion in investments through 2022. This
program is also funded by trackers, and the IURC approved the latest tracker
request in May, covering $75 million in investments made between May and
November 2017. In July the company filed an update request with the IURC
seeking a semi-annual incremental rate decrease of $10.6 million, due
primarily to the pass back to customers of a $14.1 million base rate refund
for January-May 2018 related to federal income tax reform.
Q2 Operating Income
* Gas distribution:
$39.1 million ($43.7 million in the year-ago).
* Electric: $82.4
million ($85.6 million in the year-ago).
* Corporate and
other: an operating loss of $3.1 million (an operating loss of $5.3 million
in the year-ago).
* Total: $118.4
million ($124 million in the year-ago).